Insecurity and protracted labour dispute between the State government and staff of the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), were reasons why Governor Rochas Okorocha was not taken to the hospital for treatments when he was involved in an auto crash recently.
Okorocha’s vehicle had head-on collision with another vehicle belonging to one Osita Nnawuihe on Friday, April 19, 2013 at Umuoma, Orlu, while driving himself without the usual outriders and government house ambulance.
It was learnt that the governor was rushed to St Mary’s Children and Community Hospital, Umuowa where he received first aid, while Nnawuihe was taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri for treatment.
The state government and the teaching hospital staff had been at loggerheads over non-payment of 10 months salary arrears and other sundry allowances. According to a government source who pleaded anonymity, it would be a great risk to have taken the governor to the hospital for treatment where doctors and the staff were not in the right frame of mind.
Daily Sun learnt that the hospital had in the recent time been witnessing exodus of doctors and other medical personnel because of the industrial crisis. St. Mary’s Children and Community Hospital officials where Governor Okorocha received first aid treatment before being flown overseas, did not give details.
The Hospital administrator, Sir Louis Ekwebelem however, affirmed that only the governor, who sustained an injury in the head was treated in their theatre by the Chief Medical Officer and the chief surgeon. According to him, “We did not see the other man you are talking about. He was not brought here.”
Meanwhile, the wife of Nnawuihe, Callista had cried out over the continued detention of her husband by the police. According to an eye-witness account, the governor’s convoy was traveling without the usual outriders and government house ambulance. Speaking with Daily Sun in a telephone chat, Mrs. Nnawuihe, disclosed that her husband had been in the police custody following the accident.
Mrs. Nnawuihe who was not exactly forthcoming with information of the accident, confirmed that her husband was not treated at a hospital in Orlu alongside the Governor as earlier reported but was taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri for treatment. She said she was not at the scene of the accident, but didn’t have the opportunity to discuss extensively with her husband since it occurred.
According to her no family member had an access to her husband since he had been in police detention in Owerri Contacted on phone, Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Joy Elemoko Ugo, could not be reached as her mobile number was not connecting calls.
Her subordinates told Daily Sun that she had traveled, while her office was securely locked. The state Police Commissioner, Muhammed Musa Katsina did not pick a call. A text message to him inquiring about the accident victim in their custody was also not replied.